Friday, June 13, 2008

Just take a look in the mirror...

I thoroughly recommend that you read the whole of this excellent post by the Flying Rodent.
It's clear now that the Labour government's approach to almost all issues has been precisely the same, whether it's benefit fraud or antisocial behaviour, terrorism or smoking in public places... Matters trifling, middling or massive, the response was identical. Just point out some bastards who everyone can agree are getting up to no good and taking the piss, frame it in the nastiest way possible to get us on board, then pass some wildly disproportionate legislation granting themselves executive power to do whatever they like.

And we fall for it, every time, because we all know it's true, don't we? The government, the press, they never stop telling us how every individual is hard-working, honest and plays by the rules, so everybody knows that whatever out-group is under discussion are chancers on the make. Why, anyone who would hinder the government doing whatever it takes to put a stop to it and send a message to those who don't respect our way of life is obviously out of touch.

Me, I was late in clocking the utter vacuity at the heart of the New Labour project—it actually took a bullshit war for me to realise that there was nothing there except for maniacal acquisition of power for its own sake. Once you'd made that leap, though, it was obvious in just about all the party's actions, likely starting with curfews for teenagers back in '98. Such things don't become progressive, desirable or reasonable just because they're proposed by allegedly left wing figures like Gordon Brown.

That's why I'm surprised to see impeccably liberal sites like Pickled Politics and Liberal Conspiracy asking how we wound up with a government that can grant itself the right to lock up whoever it likes, whenever it likes, for as long as it likes, on the flimsiest of pretexts, just to make a point.

I don't need to wonder how it came to this or search around for someone to point the finger at. All I need to do is go through to the bathroom and look in the mirror, and there's the culprit looking right back.

I'll refrain from saying, "I told you so" but... Oh, sorry. But seriously, I can never work out why class warriors get so surprised when those they elect turn out to be evil little shits. After all, those politicians are driven, like those who vote for them, by envy, spite, jealousy and bitterness: how can anything good come from someone driven by those emotions?

It is often difficult to tell, with the Rodent, the ratio between seriousness and piss-taking but, nevertheless, his post reminds me of something. What could it be? Oh, yes...

"The truth is, if you are looking for the guilty, you need only look into a mirror..."


Mark Wadsworth said...

The Doublespeak for this is called 'sending a message'.

In olden times we had The Tufty Club telling kids how to cross the road safely. Informative and fun. 'Sending a message' in the correct sense of the term.

Now we have EU regulations telling you what type of car booster seat to have for what age of child. With fixed penalties and a maximum fine of £500 for violations.

Mark Wadsworth said...

BTW, that 'message' was sponsored by the European Child Car-seat Manufacturers Association.

Anonymous said...

Amazing. Some Labour supporters are now beginning to see that if you give the state more power to intervene - it will. And not always where they expect or desire the intervention. The state, in fact, is often the problem, rather than always the solution beloved of the socialists.

This is why we have centuries of law (often for which people have died) to curb the excesses of the state. It is not 'soft on terrorists' to want the patriotic citizen to be protected from the caprice and malevolence of the state. And these reasons are exactly (but not exclusively) why the EU - that far too powerful centralising oligarchy - should be opposed as well.

Old Holborn said...

Anybody not busy on the 5/11/08?

Anonymous said...

Although all politicians are bad, class warriors are by far the most vulnerable to electing truly evil shits (as opposed to petty venal dicks).

The political left is completely invested in the idea of State as a vehicle for solving all society's problems. Indeed, this is the core belief that lies behind all leftist political thought.

It cannot be surprising, therefore, when the state starts grabbing all manner of new powers in order to "solve" problems. But in elevating the state, the left also elevates the professional politician - the individual who "bravely" "sacrifices" his own career in order to "save" you and all the other proles from yourselves.

It cannot be surprising that vile and petty little men like Brown, who are absolutely convinced of their own moral superiority, decide that the only correct thing to do is to sweep away "outdated" ideas like habeas corpus and trial by jury.

After all, they know better than you. They know that the state is the solution, not the problem, and they know that they are completely immune to envy, spite, jealousy and bitterness and all the other emotions which affect lesser people.

Longrider said...

Shortly after the egregious Blunkett announced his "entitlement" cards, I asked myself how the hell this happened? Then I looked in the mirror an d got the "oh, shit!" moment. I got there a bit sooner than the rodent, but anyone reasonable and rational enough will get there sooner or later. You have to be immensely pig headed and pig ignorant not to.

Not that I'm mentioning any names...

flyingrodent said...

You know, I never watched that film - the reviews all said it sucked. Were they exaggerating?

I can never work out why class warriors get so surprised when those they elect turn out to be evil little shits.

Was that what you took from the post? That part only applied to me, everyone else has their own issues. I meant rather that if you build a strong sense of generalised grievance into society - and boy, have we ever done that - then you wind up with a population just ripe and ready to have their prejudices exploited, by whoever.

And as for spite, bitterness etc., well, I'm sure you're a nice bloke and all, but your output doesn't really radiate sunshine either, does it?

Some Labour supporters are now beginning to see that if you give the state more power to intervene - it will.

Are they? You'll have to point me to some so I can ask them. My take on New Labour was always, Hmmm, they seem a bit full of shit, but probably not as evil as the last lot. Being of sane disposition, and recalling such delights as the Laffer Curve, the Criminal Justice Bill and the deliberate destruction of towns like the one Mrs. Rodent is from, my position is now Far more stupid, precious and dictatorial, but less ideologically fixated and significantly less evil.

All of which is my particular grievance, the one ripe to be tricked and exploited by random bullshitters and frauds. Given the amount of resentment some libertarians seem to be carrying, I think the message applies every bit as much to them as it does to everybody else.

Apologies if that's preachy, it's the reason I don't often veer into seriousness.

Anonymous said...

That speech could be given by David Davis and it would mean as much.How the hell did we get here?.

All I want HMG to do is empty the bins defend the borders and to shut the fuck up.

Devil's Kitchen said...

Flying Rodent,

"You know, I never watched that film - the reviews all said it sucked. Were they exaggerating?"

It depends how precious you are about it. The original graphic novel was aimed more at a corporist state and was meant as a critique of Thatcherism.

However, the film is, I think, a powerful rallying cry against authoritarian states of whatever stripe. I love it, but I'm no movie buff.

"Was that what you took from the post?"

I was generalising a little more, but I can assure you that you were not the only person in favour of the hunting ban simply (or mainly) because they hate "the fucking toffs".

(The fact that a lot of people who went hunting were not toffs is neither here nor there, of course. We all know, don't we, that anyone who lives in the country must be a toff and therefore we should attack all country pursuits at any opportunity, eh?)

"And as for spite, bitterness etc., well, I'm sure you're a nice bloke and all, but your output doesn't really radiate sunshine either, does it?"

Very true: no cathartic exercise such as this is going to be so; it merely means that I lose my temper much less in person now.

Besides, my bile is almost universally directed at politicians and the state: since I believe that politicians desire little other than power and that the state demeans everyone, I feel happy to make an exception.

I espouse liberty because I believe that it will make everyone -- rich or poor -- happier in the end (or will at least allow them the freedom to find out).


flyingrodent said...

I'm usually only precious about films if they outright insult my intelligence or are incredibly cheesy.

On the countryside, I'm from a part of East Lothian and that's about as rural as the central belt gets, and the local huntin', shootin' types certainly didn't rock up in Vauxhall Novas swigging Buckfast. Maybe it's not like that everywhere, I at least had the excuse of being eighteen when I held those opinions.

It's surprising how your views evolve over the years - I've almost no animus against country-dwelling petty nobility. Nowadays, I generally favour herding the managerial/political/financial classes into re-education camps at riflepoint instead, and my view on the urgent need to guillotine the entire royal family have mellowed somewhat. You see, I'm approaching a fairly moderate position these days...

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